Midway through Sunday’s Super Bowl, a 30-second advertisement for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign appeared on televisions across the nation. But within hours, Kennedy himself denounced the ad — saying it was made without “any involvement or approval” from the candidate or his staff.

The video, created by the American Values super PAC, mimicked a popular 1960 ad for President John F. Kennedy, the uncle of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. It quickly sparked backlash from some of Kennedy’s family members, who oppose Kennedy’s independent presidential campaign and took offense to Kennedy’s use of his uncle’s image. The ad cost the PAC $7 million, Politico reported.

“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” Kennedy posted on X Sunday night. “The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you.”

As of midday Monday, Kennedy still had the video pinned atop his profile on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Kennedy — the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy — has faced opposition from many of his family members since launching a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. President Joe Biden is a “very close” family friend, Kennedy told the Deseret News, but Kennedy felt that the 81-year-old president could not win reelection this November.

In October, Kennedy abandoned his campaign for the Democratic nomination and instead declared his candidacy as an independent. Several of his family members — including four of his seven living siblings — denounced his decision, calling it “dangerous” and “perilous to our country.”

“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment,” they wrote.

Following the Super Bowl ad, which portrayed Kennedy as a figure similar to his uncle, several family members and friends expressed disappointment. “My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces — and my Mother’s,” wrote Bobby Shriver, the son of Eunice Kennedy. “She would be appalled by his deadly health care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA.”

Kennedy, a former environmental lawyer, has spent much of his career advocating for individual choice in health and raising skepticism about vaccines, especially for children. He has written several books casting doubt on the effectiveness of vaccinations. His organization, Children’s Health Defense, has published hundreds of stories on its website skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines, which Kennedy once called “the deadliest vaccine ever made.”

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Robert Shrum, a longtime Democratic strategist and an adviser to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, called Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a “fraud.” “This RFK Jr. Super Bowl ad is a straight out plagiarism of JFK ad from 1960,” Shrum wrote on X.

To this point in his campaign, Kennedy has publicly brushed off the criticisms from his family and friends. “I‘m able to love my family without agreeing with everything they believe in, and able to differ with them on factual or political areas without feeling angry or hateful to them,” Kennedy told the Deseret News last October.

But the tensions between Kennedy and his super PAC could have more serious implications for his campaign. The Democratic National Committee filed a complaint Friday accusing Kennedy of working too closely with the American Values PAC to secure ballot access across the country. While it has become increasingly common for super PACs to fundraise and advertise in favor of candidates, they are legally required to remain independent from the campaigns themselves.

According to the complaint, Kennedy’s campaign is participating in improper coordination with the PAC to gather signatures and perform other grassroots tasks to qualify for ballot access in states across the country. To date, Utah is the only state that has granted Kennedy ballot access.

“It’s fitting that the first national ad promoting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s candidacy was bought and paid for by Donald Trump’s largest donor this cycle,” said Alex Floyd, a DNC spokesperson, referring to megadonor Timothy Mellor who has donated to Kennedy’s and Trump’s super PACs.

“RFK Jr. is nothing more than a Trump stalking horse in this race,” Mellor continued.